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Would Geographical Factors Affect Your Personality? Here’s The Answer!

Would Geographical Factors Affect Your Personality? Here’s The Answer!

Are you just dreaming about a getaway by the beach? Or perhaps, you can envision yourself with a glass of wine at a cabin in the woods? Your preference of landscape; beach or woody mountains, may tell you more about your personality than you realize.

According to a new study by the psychologists at the University of Virginia, introverts and extroverts seek out different landscapes for their vacations, and they may even prefer different environmental settings when they choose a place to call home.

In a series of studies, University of Virginia psychologist Shigehiro Oishi and colleagues Thomas Talhelm and Minha Lee found that extroverts prefer the beach to the mountains, while introverts favored the mountains over the beach.

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Oishi designed the study in accordance with the hypothesis that people actively select certain surroundings to meet their personal values and desires. This is called the theory of “person-environment fit.” The study involved three experiments; we’ll take a look at each of these experiments in turn.

Extroverts And Introverts

Different Outlooks

It is well known by psychologists that extroverts enjoy arousing situations while introverts are drawn towards quieter and calmer environments. Research has discovered that extroverts have a more pronounced need for “affiliation”. Affiliation is being with, and talking to other people. Extroverts also enjoy attention from others and entertaining them; this is called  “exhibition”. Introverts don’t require these things to feel fulfilled.

The Hypothesis

Mountains Are Quiet, Beaches Are Noisier

“We argue that beaches are typically noisier, with more people to watch, talk to, and hang out with than the mountains,” write the researchers. “In contrast, mountains offer many secluded places, which facilitate isolation.”

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Oishi thus hypothesized that extroverts should feel more comfortable and happier in an open area while introverts are likely to flourish in more secluded places.

The Study

The First Experiment

Oishi and his colleagues requested that 921 undergraduates rate their personality using a standard questionnaire. The students were then met with the question: Do you prefer the ocean or mountains?

The researchers found that those individuals who had introverted personality types favored the mountains, while the extroverts preferred the beach.

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The findings were further established through the use of a visual test. Oishi and his colleagues showed a smaller group of students six pairs of pictures of the ocean and the beach. The students were asked which place they would like to visit. Again it was found that the extrovert individuals displayed a strong preference for the ocean.

The Findings Of The Study Explained

It appears that the wooded or mountainous environments offer lesser opportunities for affiliation and exhibition, while the wide-open spaces of places like the beach give extroverts the opportunity to partake in affiliation and exhibition. The mountains are perfect for solitude and introspection, whereas the beach can be noisy and populated; making it great for partying and conversing.

The Second Experiment

In another experiment, the researchers analyzed a database with personality surveys of 613,000 people from the United States. The researchers did so to find out whether the geography of the state had any relationship with people’s tendency towards introversion or extroversion. They discovered that the people residing in flat states were more extroverted than the residents of mountainous areas in the United States.

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It was still unclear, however, as to whether living in the mountains made people more introverted, or if introverted people chose to make their home in the mountains. To find out the answer the researchers performed one more experiment.

The Third Experiment

The researchers sent groups of students to either flat open areas or secluded wooded areas. The areas were all on the UVA campus. They then analyzed the participants’ extroversion and happiness levels.

The researchers found that introverts were more stressed in open spaces and more comfortable in the midst of trees.

Summation

Next time you are planning a getaway you may want to consider your personality type; introvert or extrovert, this way you can make sure that the landscape you choose to holiday in fits your needs and gives you maximum comfort.

Featured photo credit: Torreon via torreon.com

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Rebecca Beris

Rebecca is a wellness and lifestyle writer at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 5, 2021

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

I talk a lot to myself. It helps me to keep my concentration on the activity on hand, makes me focus more on my studies, and gives me some pretty brilliant ideas while chattering to myself; more importantly, I produce better works. For example, right now, as I am typing, I am constantly mumbling to myself. Do you talk to yourself? Don’t get embarrassed admitting it because science has discovered that those who talk to themselves are actually geniuses… and not crazy!

Research Background

Psychologist-researcher Gary Lupyan conducted an experiment where 20 volunteers were shown objects, in a supermarket, and were asked to remember them. Half of them were told to repeat the objects, for example, banana, and the other half remained silent. In the end, the result shown that self-directed speech aided people to find the objects faster, by 50 to 100 milliseconds, compared to the silent ones.

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“I’ll often mutter to myself when searching for something in the refrigerator or the supermarket shelves,” said Gary Lupyan.

This personal experience actually made him conduct this experiment. Lupyan, together with another psychologist, Daniel Swigley, came up with the outcomes that those to talk to oneself are geniuses. Here are the reasons:

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It stimulates your memory

When you are talking to yourself, your sensory mechanism gets activated. It gets easier on your memory since you can visualize the word, and you can act accordingly.[1]

It helps stay focused

When you are saying it loud, you stay focused on your task,[2] and it helps you recognise that stuff immediately. Of course, this only helps if you know what the object you are searching looks like. For example, a banana is yellow in colour, and you know how a banana looks like. So when you are saying it loud, your brain immediately pictures the image on your mind. But if you don’t know what banana looks like, then there is no effect of saying it loud.

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It helps you clarify your thoughts

Every one of us tends to have various types of thoughts. Most make sense, while the others don’t. Suppose you are furious at someone and you feel like killing that person. Now for this issue you won’t run to a therapist, will you? No, what you do is lock yourself in a room and mutter to yourself. You are letting go off the anger by talking to yourself, the pros and cons of killing that person, and eventually you calm down. This is a silly thought that you have and are unable to share it with any other person. Psychologist Linda Sapadin said,[3]

“It helps you clarify your thoughts, tend to what’s important and firm up any decisions you are contemplating.”

Featured photo credit: Girl Using Laptop In Hotel Room/Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

Reference

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